Childbirth. Now I can say nothing in this world makes you feel more alive than having a baby. Period.
It doesn’t matter which birth plan road you take. Not a book, person or thing prepares you for this experience. Similar to pregnancy, which I thought was going to be “simple and smooth.” Of course, I was wrong. I certainly learned a few things along the way.
An intervention free labor had been my goal pre-pregnancy.
I read a ton about it. Watched YouTube Videos and asked other mama’s questions. My workouts consisted of things that made you stronger. Specifically in your core, legs, and other workouts that prepped your body for the inevitable marathon ahead. Food was kept clean with minimal treats and cheats. I drank red raspberry leaf tea in hopes to strengthen my uterus and shorten labor. And yes, I believe it did help! (More on the tea at MamaNatural.com )
Labor day arrived!
Two weeks earlier than I expected! It began on Mother’s Day. (Read my Mother’s Day blog post here Ironic!)
Four in the morning and still dark out, I laid in bed with very intense cramps. They would visit me in waves every thirty minutes. Fall asleep, wake up, fall asleep wake up. I was so tired then woken by this deep continuous sensation.
The sun finally began to peek through the blinds of our little bedroom window. My husband, who sleep’s soundly, was waking. I told him I thought our daughter was going to arrive today.
I knew today was the day. I kept wondering…
Was I ready for labor and prepared for this goal of natural childbirth?
My in-laws were sitting and having coffee in our living room. We had lovely Mother’s Day plans with both of our families. The life within me was becoming more real so God and baby had different plans for this Mother’s day weekend indeed. It really brought both of our loving families together.
The on-call nurse suggested we time the contractions and call back when they were about 3 minutes apart. Alex and I went for a walk around our pond by our apartment. It helped to be outside and get fresh air but it didn’t stop the consistency of contractions. Every several steps around the pond, I had to pull over and take a minute to breath.
One of my favorite moments of this day is that we stopped at a picnic table on the way back in the midst of contractions and prayed together.
Three minutes apart and counting!
The on-call nurse cleared us to head to the hospital. So I called my parents and informed them to what was going on.
Back home, I took a shower and it felt amazing. BUT I noticed something down there and it turned out to be the mucus plug! Yikes!
I finished packing our bag and birth plan and wanted to “progress” at home as long as possible. My concern was that the hospital wouldn’t be supportive of my all natural decision. I was already setting my mind up to stay strong through the unknown work labor requires.
My Father In Laws truck was downstairs ready to taxi us to St. Joseph’s South.
At the hospital…
I had to go up to the room in a wheelchair (ugh!) I didn’t want to but I understand the pre-caution.
The nurse checked to see if I was dilated.
4cm! Honestly, I wanted to go back home. After some convincing and a bit more walking around plus one more centimeter, we stayed. This nurse also encouraged me to go natural. She said I can do it. I was shocked and thankful for her.
Labor feels like a blur.
I walked around a lot and talked to family. Starving, I ate some blueberries but ended up puking. On my sister too, I get why you shouldn’t eat.
At 9cm, my water hadn’t broken yet.
It was just Alex and I now. The Doctor asked if I wanted her to break my water. Nope! Yet after a few hours, I decided “Okay, go for it!”
At this point I was reclined on my back in a semi-squatting position. A warm rush of fluid poured out of me. The next contraction was so intense, I didn’t want to move! (I wanted to be in a full squat position).
I was okay up until this point. Even 9cm, I kept telling myself “you got this!” The Lord is my strength. Once my water broke though, it was another story. I no longer felt the sack around my dear daughters head but I felt her head full on. I fully understood why it’s called labor. It’s hard work!
My husband was amazing and was by my side the entire time. I couldn’t have done it with out him. He kept encouraging me over and over again. My mom and sister came into the room when I asked for them. I’m so thankful I did. I wanted them to be a part of this moment too and I wouldn’t change any of it! My mom was holding the puke bag and my sister was holding my right leg, my husband on the left. I’ll never forget it.
The nurses were amazing! Everyone was so supportive of my natural decision from the beginning. Of course, after the breaking of the water I considered “the gas.” Honestly. This was the most intense experience of my entire life! I asked if it’s normal to feel like you have to use the bathroom. They told me it’s the same muscle that pushes the baby down. So I could use this muscle to push her down and out otherwise known as “bearing down.”
I was afraid I would poop,
You hit a point when you just don’t care.
Another contraction would rise strong and I would hear the soft words of everyone “push, push push.” Adara was a phenomenal nurse. She came over to me and threw a tug-o-war type sheet on top of me. She said she likes to play this game called “tug of war.” where I try to pull her on to me. This was awesome. It gave me some focus and direction. Like a hardcore workout, I loved it. When I was loud, they told me to put it in the push. My back and shoulders still hurt!
Next, the “ring of fire…”
No one ever told me about this until right before I felt it. I can’t explain it. I felt fire. Down there. My baby was crowning and apparently the Doctor’s fingers were going around her head. Inside me. To help prevent tears. It felt like I was ripping open!
The craziest sensation aside from the burn was feeling my baby move around just outside of my body. Her head turning from side to side and her little fingers! I could feel everything.
90 minutes of pushing and
I felt alive.
I looked at my husband’s handsome face. The intense labor pains vanished completely. My baby girl’s strong cry resounded. And she was placed in my arms.
She is perfection. I held her close and kissed her head. Peace flooded me. My heart was instantly captivated. This beautiful little thing was our daughter. I loved her before she arrived. Seeing her face has changed me forever.
A kiss from heaven & undeserved favor.
I loved that I was fully aware the entire time.
Yes, it was intense and there was some pain involved but I wouldn’t change a thing!